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Tips for talking to your doctor about weight loss

Losing weight isn't straightforward, so engaging a healthcare professional to support you is helpful.

Tips for talking to your doctor about weight loss
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It can feel daunting to start the journey to weight loss, especially if you're doing it on your own. And while it might seem scary to talk to a doctor about losing weight, it can be a brilliant way to tackle your health in every way, shape and form.

Losing weight isn't straightforward, so engaging a healthcare professional to support you with weight management, high blood pressure, blood sugar and overall health can lighten your load [1].

If you're concerned about how to approach this conversation with your doctor, here are a few tips on how to do so.

Can doctors help with weight loss?

As a general rule of thumb, working with a doctor to support you in losing extra weight is a great idea. Healthcare professionals can help in a number of ways, from supporting you to make changes to your diet and exercise, to helping you set personal goals for change [2].

Your doctor might ask you to keep a food diary, so they can get an understanding of your food habits and assist you in creating healthy habits, or they may ask you to track your physical activity throughout the day so they know how much you're moving your body.

Another great way that doctors can help with losing weight is by checking for underlying health problems. Health conditions like diabetes, kidney diseases and other chronic diseases can cause weight gain, so it's a good idea to get your overall health checked out by a professional.

It's important to note that if you're going to work with a healthcare professional to lose weight, make sure you find the right fit. Feeling supported by your doctor is vital to losing weight — if you don't feel comfortable with them, it's important to find a new one as soon as possible.

How to prepare for your visit to the doctor's

Once you've bitten the bullet and decided to work with a doctor, it's important to prepare for your appointment [3].

You might find it helpful to write notes about your experience, your medical history and any other chronic disease you may have. You should also note any medications that you're on.

Prepare to chat about your history with weight loss and whether you've struggled with weight gain in the past, as well as your mood, your sleeping habits and eating habits. This is also a good time to inform your doctor of other diets you have may have tried.

Questions to ask your doctor about weight loss

Once you're prepared to chat about your weight loss journey, it's time to think about some questions you might like to ask your doctor about weight loss. You might find it helpful to write them down and take them to the appointment with you.

You might like to ask your doctor:

  • What should my weight loss goals be?
  • How long will it take to lose weight?
  • What's the best way to lose weight?
  • What health conditions am I at risk of developing?
  • What kind of exercise habits should I be engaging in?
  • What kind of food should I be eating?
  • How can I maximise my chance of losing extra weight?
  • How can I make sure I keep the weight off?
  • Do I need to see a specialist?
  • Do we need to talk about digestive and kidney diseases?
  • Do we need to consider weight loss surgery? [4].

What are the weight loss options doctors can provide?

When working with a doctor to lose weight, your first port of call will always be diet and exercise. But, if healthy habits don't help you with weight loss, what are your options?

Your doctor might begin working with you in the realm of medical weight loss [5]. While it doesn't guarantee a healthy weight, medications can support you if the scales just won't budge.

It's important to note that medical weight loss is not an easy way out — it's still vital to eat well, make healthy lifestyle changes and stay active. But, medications can help you kickstart this process.

Your next option, if medications and normal lifestyle changes don't work for you, is weight loss surgery [6]. Surgery is a big deal, and most doctors don't recommend it unless you've tried other options.

Involving an operation on the stomach, intestines or both, surgical options can involve:

  • An adjustable gastric band: a band is placed around the top of the stomach so that the stomach becomes smaller. Because of this, the stomach becomes full more quickly and causes you to eat less.
  • Roux-en-Y gastric bypass: creating a small pouch at the top of the stomach so that you eat less, the surgeon will reroute your intestine to this pouch to change the way your body processes food.
  • Biliopancreatic diversion (BPD): a complex surgery that involves removing part of the stomach and bypassing a lengthy portion of the small intestine, this option reduces the amount of food your body absorbs.

What's the deal with weight loss medication?

Doctor-prescribed weight loss medications aren't anything new but they are fairly unknown.

One of the most common is a self-injectable prescription drug that works to regulate digestion and suppress your appetite and supports weight loss [7].

This treatment was approved in 2017 in Australia for doctors to prescribe for weight management. These medications were previously only prescribed to diabetics as a treatment to control blood sugar levels before researchers found that they were also useful for regulating the metabolism and hunger hormones.

How to approach having a weight loss conversation with your doctor

It might feel scary, but talking to your doctor is a great way to start your weight loss journey. You might like to start the conversation by saying something like 'I've been thinking about my weight lately. Can you tell me what a healthy range would be for me?'

If you'd like to gain the support of a healthcare professional that specialises in weight loss without having to have a face-to-face conversation, Juniper's Weight Reset Program is designed just for that.

Combining breakthrough medication with health tracking and education on behavioural changes, the program helps you achieve long-term weight loss with the support of medical experts and health coaches.

Featuring medication to regulate digestion, decrease appetite, and shift the mind and body’s approach to food, the weight loss program also involves health coaching and one-on-one health tracking. We give you all of the tools you need for long-term success and we stay with you for every step of the journey.

It’s more than just weight loss

Thousands of Australian women have found new confidence with Juniper.

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